Herat Antique Oriental Rugs

The Integrated Collection: An Organized Approach for the ‘New’ Collector

I have been there.  I was, at one time, a new collector.  It was both exciting and a little stressful.

I did not know much about old and antique rugs.  Actually, I knew virtually nothing!!

And I was not sure how to go about this ‘collecting thing’.

Important Aside:  On the Herat Gallery home page, click the section titled ‘Collecting’.  This article suggests a practical and stress reducing start to collection outstanding examples of antique and semi-antique rugs and tribal weavings.

At the outset, many ‘new’ collectors use the ‘one of this-one of that’ approach.  Or, the ‘buy it, it’s cheap’ strategy.

Done early in one’s collecting career and in moderation, it is not an entirely bad thing.

BUT, this is not collecting.  It is merely the accumulation of stuff.

At some point, hopefully early on, a serious ‘new’ collector should adopt an organized approach to collecting.

An Integrated Collection:  What is it?

The integrated collection is one in which all the parts of the collection relate to each other in some observable, organized and meaningful way.

When utilized thoughtfully, the integrated collection will eventually become an aesthetic, visual and historic record of the woven art they depict.

An Integrated Collection:  Examples

An exciting aspect of this approach is that its utilization is limited only by the preferences and the imagination of the collector.

And, a meaningful collection can be assembled even by the collector who does not have unlimited financial resources.

For example, a significant, integrated collection can be assembled based solely on South Persian tribal bags and trappings.  Or, 18th century (or earlier) Anatolian kilim fragments or, reasonably priced non-Turkmen Central Asian tribal weavings.

Or, for the more adventuresome, a collection of ‘Baluch’ prayer rugs acquired according to the different border systems found in the various ‘Baluch’ tribal groups.  (Hopkins, Mark, ‘Doing the Baluch Bend’, Hali 9, pages 78 – 83).

Whether simple or more resource intensive, get a clear idea of what is appealing to you, talk to other collectors or a knowledgeable dealer, develop a plan, subject to adjustment if needed.  But, have a plan.

That’s it for now.  Future articles will expand on the concept of the integrated collection and will address other subjects of interest to collectors.   If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please send me an email.  Until next time, best wishes.

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